Monday, October 17, 2005

Wow! A Toronto Star writer gets it right!

It's snowing in Hell right now.
A writer for the notorious Toronto Red Star has tackled a Toronto proposal to create "supervised injection sites or inhalation rooms'' in Toronto and finds it, at best, farcical. Here's what Rosie DiManno had to say on the subject.
So let me get this straight: I can't smoke cigarettes in Toronto but I can smoke crack?
The former is a public health risk, nipped in the butt at nearly every indoor venue, with bossy and vilifying interdiction campaigns that have transformed smokers into social pariahs. But the latter is a personal choice that ought not to be stigmatized by a judgmental society.
I am not making this up. I am merely taking to their presumptive conclusions some of the recommendations advanced in a drug strategy scheme unveiled at city hall on Friday.

Has that whetted your interest?
Toronto, Crackhead Capital of the Western Hemisphere?
Is Canada really hellbent on becoming the drug capital of North America? After all, you now have your junkie zones out in Vancouver, complete with addicts crapping in the streets (I'm not making that up!).
DiManno has had her epiphany on the road to Damascus... as she explains:
There was a time when I believed that decriminalizing all drug use was the wisest approach — treating abuse as a health issue, not a matter for law enforcement. But I was taken aback, on my last trip to Amsterdam — where soft drugs are legal, marijuana and hash for sale in drug cafés — at how very stupid much of the mellowed-out adult populace had become, so sluggish, slack, slothful. The potency of these "soft drugs'' has increased dramatically, as laced as they are with THC...
Further, despite assurances that this wouldn't occur, the use of hard drugs in Amsterdam has skyrocketed, the city crawling with wasted junkies.
There are compelling social reasons, I now concede, for rejecting the whole premise of legalizing drugs as the lesser of two evils.

She then takes to task the task force's observations:
It is troubling that the drug advisory committee pays minimal attention to that drug-perpetuated violence in Toronto, especially after the lethal summer we've just been through. Or frames it within the context of how neighbourhoods could be made safer if some of this activity was more properly supervised — yes, even in a smoke-up drop-in environment, envisioned as a one-stop shopping emporium where addicts could also obtain clean needles and condoms and counselling, provided that counselling was non-invasive and moral-neutral.
And a final shot, with a sizable cannon, at the PC panel:
It's the tone of the thing that I find most objectionable — the de facto premise that our society has no right to project any judgmental values because, if you follow this logic, it's this very disapproval that prevents addicts from straightening out.
I would think it's the other way around. Making it easier to obtain and use crack, for instance (which, unlike heroin, doesn't involve the shared use of flesh-piercing implements that spread HIV and Hepatitis C), would not discourage such ruinous drug use. Rather, the message would seem to be that we, as a community, are prepared to facilitate your drug problem.
It's perfectly reasonable for any society to express its opprobrium for a drug scourge that makes victims of us all, be it the destruction of residential neighbourhoods or by wayward bullets that strike children.
And it's hypocritical to say that public revulsion is counter-effective in stigmatizing drug abuse when these are the very same people — check the public health authorities involved in preparing the report — who sanctioned such bullying tactics against smokers, and who claim their campaign has been marvellously effective.
Sorry, you can't have it both ways.

Rosie, congratulations. You nailed it. Well done.
Expect to be drummed out of the Politically Correct Alliance any day now. Hell, they might even take away your right to vote Liberal or NDP for this.